Friday, September 21, 2018
Sports

NFL playoffs finally get tight games, road wins

The NFL postseason had produced a series of duds — until Sunday.

The Steelers thoroughly outplayed the Chiefs but repeatedly stalled in the red zone, settling for a playoff record six field goals from Chris Boswell and allowing Kansas City to get in position to tie it in the final three minutes. But when a penalty negated a two-point conversion and the second attempt failed, Pittsburgh was able to escape with an 18-16 victory and a date in the AFC Championship Game with the top seed Patriots.

In the NFC, the Packers' Aaron Rodgers made another brilliant clutch pass in a career full of them, setting up Mason Crosby's 51-yard field goal as time expired, giving visiting Green Bay a 34-31 win over Dallas and advancing the Packers to this Sunday's conference title game in Atlanta.

With the score tied at 31, Rodgers took a blindside sack — somehow holding onto the ball as he went down — to set up third and 20 at the Packers 32 with 12 seconds left.

On the next play, Rodgers jogged to his left with the clock winding down and threaded a perfect pass to tight end Jared Cook on the sideline at the Cowboys 32. A replay review confirmed that Cook made the catch just before any part of his body touched out of bounds with three seconds left in the game. Stories, 4C

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